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Comet Lovejoy Grazes the Sun (and Survives)

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Comet Lovejoy Grazes the Sun (and Survives)


Published December 19, 2011


Comet Lovejoy skimmed across the Sun's edge about 140,000 km above the surface late Dec. 15 and early Dec. 16, 2011, furiously brightening and vaporizing as it approached the Sun. It is the brightest sungrazing comet that SOHO has ever seen, with a nucleus about twice as wide as a football field. It unexpectedly survived the pass and cruised out from behind the Sun some hours later. Comets are ancient balls of dust and ice. There is a temporary, four hour gap in the SOHO data after the comet went behind the occulting disk. We will remake these movies when that data comes in. It is the brightest sungrazing comet that SOHO has ever seen, with a nucleus about twice as wide as a football field. It unexpectedly survived the pass and cruised out from behind the Sun some hours later. Comets are ancient balls of dust and ice. There is a temporary, four hour gap in the SOHO data after the comet went behind the occulting disk. We will remake these movies when that data comes in.


Mediatype image
Source http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/multimedia/potw/potw-79.html
Licenseurl http://www.nasaimages.org/Terms.html
Date 2011-12-19
Identifier 611636main_Lovejoy-orig
Addeddate 2012-01-26 19:45:42
Publicdate 2012-01-26 19:46:07
Backup_location ia903708_4

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